So I guess football shaped heads will be in style again. The new Hey Arnold! movie has gotten a name and confirmed that just about every voice talent from the original show is on board for the second cinematic outing of Arnold and the gang.
Arnold was originally conceived as a claymation character for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, but found a new, richer life with Nickelodeon. Hey Arnold! ran on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2004, a second generation Nicktoon. That’s right, folks, the television show that you remember premiering on Sunday morning just after Ahhh! Real Monsters is 20 years old. While Doug, Rugrats, and Ren and Stimpy premiered a few years earlier, the pressure was on the burgeoning animation studio to see if they could continue to make beloved cartoons that pushed the boundaries of traditional Saturday morning fare. With its myriad characters and plot lines about living a city life, Hey Arnold! fit the bill.
In 2002, while the television show was still on the air, the first movie was released, predictably entitled Hey Arnold!: The Movie. Now, a dozen years later, the second movie will be called, rather less predictably, Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie.
When adapting a television show for theaters, there is the constant challenge of not alienating fans and still breaking new ground. Fears that The Jungle Movie will veer too far from the successful formula have been somewhat mitigated with the announcement that 19 voice actors will be reprising their roles for the reboot. With that kind of support and familiarity, little stands in the way of creating a new generation of Hey Arnold! fans.
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